Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘New Year’

What’s New?

I’m trying to figure out this New Year thing. Saturday turns into Sunday and everything is supposed to be different? My house looks like the same mess it was in yesterday. In other words, same stuff (putting it nicely), different day. My mind is as chaotic as my home is right now so forgive the fragmented writing, please.

packing boxes mixed in with Christmas decor.

packing boxes mixed in with Christmas decor.

I was awakened at midnight by the fireworks that sounded like gunshots going off in my neighborhood and it took a while to go back to sleep. I’m a very early riser. Why do we humans like to celebrate things? Maybe  to keep life from being mundane. Animals don’t do celebrations. Every day is good to them. I know there is a lesson in there.

I got time for Christmas. Something I really need.

I got time for Christmas. Something I really need.

Christmas is over. I love/hate Christmas, though this year was unlike any of them. I had a lot to do this year that just didn’t get done. I spent most of my time working on a quilt for my son. He is moving all his stuff to snow country. After expressing a fondness for a soft plain quilt he saw in a craft show, I made it my mission to get one made before Christmas so he would have it with him. I had no idea what I was doing and no pattern or measurements. He wanted “soft” so that’s what I made. Flannel on one side, Minky® on the other. Other than an embroidered fleece blanket for my niece to take to college next fall, the quilt is the only thing I finished this year.

Quilt for Tech Support.

Quilt for Tech Support.

Isabel Rose is her name.

Isabel Rose is her name.

When the truck pulls out with everything from his room and the storage unit, I will start my new year. Sorting and selling. We have already sold many things through a neighborhood website that just popped up. Yay!!! I still have a village to sell and all its inhabitants. There is nowhere to store them year to year anymore and nowhere to display them. Anyone need a collection of dust catchers?

Alpine Bakery

Alpine Bakery

New for me this year will be just one thing. Find ways to move more. Just my body, not my house.  None of what I do involves a lot of movement. I’m also planning to try new things this year. Maybe connecting with more blogs that ask us to write something specific, and possibly take some classes to meet new people. I tend to be a hermit. One of those extroverted introverts. People scare the dickens out of me but we need each other.

People sharing ideas and good fun

People sharing ideas and good fun

Also new this year, we’ve had an unusual amount of snow already and extra cold temps. Looks like more is on the way. I won’t mind once the kid has his rental truck safely where it’s going. I don’t wish driving in this crazy weather on anyone.

Handmade by a quilting friend, this snow-mama came home with me.

Handmade by a quilting friend, this snow-mama came home with me.

It already feels like a very different year. In my bones different. Let’s hope it brings more good than not. So are you really expecting anything NEW about this New Year?

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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The Winds of Change

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. ~ Author Unknown

2016 will bring a lot of change. We had high winds this week just to make sure I’m fully aware that it’s coming in full force. It’s going to start with my blog titles. In Search of: has been quite limiting. I’m not good with limits. It feels like a child being told to sit still and be quiet. You can only do it so long and then the squirming starts. I’m basically a searcher of knowledge. I’m still searching with the title being implied. It’s a spiritual search for understanding.

 

Does anyone understand why a teenager must wear pajamas all day Christmas day when visiting family?

Does anyone understand why a teenager must wear pajamas all day Christmas day when visiting family?

Last year was an uncomfortable year. I was glad to see it end. I’ve been one (well, maybe many) step behind. My “to do” lists were always moving to my “didn’t get done list.” I had big plans for 2015: Get organized, financial solvency, finish a lot of projects that have been waiting a decade to be finished, lose the excess weight and find a way to restore my health. I have stacks of books to read and I just keep adding more to the list. I think I should unsubscribe from Bookbub. It takes me to Amazon and then I’m sunk. There are too many good books out there and I don’t want to miss one.

There will be other changes this year. Since I have been struggling with chronic fatigue I decided to have a visit to my doctor. Yes, I needed to shed a few pounds, (isn’t that always the case) but a sleep study was ordered. Turns out I have severe sleep apnea. Even when I was asleep, I wasn’t. So the C-pap machine will be picked up in two weeks. Medicare and managed care do not move quickly. Next on the list has been my failing vision. I can see the big things, not the details so after several trips to the eye care center, it was determined the removal of the cataract might help. It can take up to three months to schedule. In the meantime, the words dance across the page and I have to trust spell check to tell me if I’ve mistyped. Bear with me please.

 

Gifts made for friends barely done in time.

Gifts made for friends barely done in time.

I have been off sugar since September with the pounds reluctantly wandering just a short distance away from the scale. I’m sure they are waiting to see if I’m serious.
Sometimes I am. It is apparent sugar and I will fight to the finish line as I love to bake and I don’t move enough to burn it off. That will have to find a resolution as well. I read everything I can find on how to heal the body. Sugar isn’t on the list in any of the books. Darn it all. It’s the one area that moderation doesn’t work well for me. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl when it comes to sweets.

 

Our quilt groups after Christmas, Christmas party. It was a hard day for me.

Our quilt groups after Christmas, Christmas party. It was a hard day for me.

I’m looking forward to finishing many, many projects this year. My house painting in the spring, sewing and quilting projects this winter and maybe even getting to furniture refinishing projects that look at me and snicker at my inability to do it all. Let them snicker. I’m ready to relax and have some fun with friends this year.

The stealing gift exchange part of our party.

The stealing gift exchange part of our party.

My sewing and quilting groups are feeding my social and creative needs. Writing had taken a back seat the last year. Maybe this year, it will move up the line of priorities. My house took all my time last year. It’s still a priority though more like number two on the list. At least for now or until the HOA comes by with a notice to get busy.

 

Made for my sewing group. Some of the snowmen have purple, not yellow scarves.

Made for my sewing group. Some of the snowmen have purple, not yellow scarves.

What are you expecting from this year? Do you have resolutions or just hopeful goals?

Happy New Year
From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Another Shot at the New Year

It came and it went. I missed the essence of it. We had our snacks for dinner and I was in bed at 10 p.m. My daughter went home at 9 and my son said he stayed up till 1 a.m. because there was too much noise outside. I heard NOTHING! I didn’t even have a drink. What a way to bring in the fantastic year I’m expecting.

I had a great holiday with lots of company, good food and better than average weather. No complaints here. But by the time everyone got to their planes on January 4, I was bone weary tired. I worried all that day that my sister-in-law would make her connecting flight in Chicago, (she did) and my son would have no delays (he didn’t). So while we tried to keep track of flights, my daughter helped me take down the tree and get it boxed up for next year.

I spent the rest of this week taking down decorations, carrying them down to the garage, moving back into my room, laundry and getting the fridge cleaned out. I found the missing bottle of ketchup. All while fighting off something that could by all appearances have been a…cold? I don’t get colds or flu. Not in the last half-dozen years have I had anything other than Bells Palsy and its residual odd effects. I eat lots of pickled garlic, for goodness sake. Nothing can get me eating that stuff. Not even vampires.

Maybe it came from too much of the dry heat from the electric heater but I got rid of it with a little (and maybe a little more) Brandy and a PM pain reliever. A good night’s sleep preceded by a hot shower did wonders. Whatever was causing the sneezing, etc., has subsided. I gave myself permission to do nothing; like there was a choice in the matter. There is order in my apartment once more and now I’m ready to celebrate the New Year. Anyone want to party with me? I’ll be at the sewing machine or the laptop.

Isn't this how you spend New Year's Eve?  One is hunting for jobs, one is doing tutorials, and one is posting her blog.

Isn’t this how you spend New Year’s Eve? One is hunting for jobs, one is doing tutorials, and one is posting her blog.

Maybe now I can read your blogs without having my eye water till the words float away.

Does the New Year feel new to you or are you still trying to catch up with leftovers from the last year?

All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives. Steven Spielberg

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Optimism

We are getting a whole new year. At least I hope it’s a whole one. I’m looking for a better one than the last. Not that the last year was awful, just…challenging. Apparently it shows up in my writing.

My stories for our memoirs class had a run of sadness to them. The instructor asked me point blank if I always saw the glass half empty. I just looked at her and shook my head no. Of course my face was frozen up from the stress of reading my story, so speaking elaborately wasn’t an option. As they proceeded on to the next story reader, I thought to myself, “Sure, I see the glass as half full all the time. Someone just shot the damn glass full of holes”. My optimism leaks out and is replaced with pragmatism. I read “Mark and Angel“, “Abraham-Hicks”, “Tut from Mike Dooley”, and everyone else that has something positive to say daily.

This is my computer wallpaper

This is my computer wallpaper

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what optimism really is. The online dictionary said this is the definition: “A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.” That’s what my daughter does. She’s been out of work twice this year and after a month, she can’t pay the rent or anything else. I want to be optimistic, I really do, but this is not looking like a short term problem. She was out of work for two years before finding temp work. That’s all she has had for the last year and a half, temp work. What is the best way for me to be helpful? It’s very tricky. When people I love are struggling, it causes me to feel stressed with them and it affects my outlook.

I’ve been looking for the last year for a home to purchase. There is very little available in my price range. They showed me a lovely place where the bedrooms must all be passed through to get to the bathroom and had no foundation. The realtor got really frustrated with me for turning it down. I couldn’t afford to rebuild it. I’m optimistic that the right place in my budget is out there and my daughter will find a real job that she likes. I’m optimistic that my son will find work in this area that pays what he makes in Los Angeles. Ok, maybe not as optimistic as I’d like to be on that one. I’m optimistic that this will be the year I get well enough to drive where ever I want to go. Health will no longer elude me.

it's too big and expensive but a girl can dream, can't she?

it’s too big and expensive but a girl can dream, can’t she?

I’m optimistic that 2014 will bring us all the good we have all been looking for. Are you an optimist or like me, more pragmatic? Has your glass been shot full of holes as well? What are you expecting from this New Year? Whatever it is, I wish you the very best 2014 has to offer.

Don't know where this came from but it resonates

Don’t know where this came from but it resonates

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Summary

Christmas is technically over. All those presents that were beautifully wrapped have been distributed to loved ones and the paper rained over several living rooms. We did Christmas in shifts this year as so many must do. My niece and her girls were visited the weekend before. My sister was two days after as she had a bad cold with fever. We appreciated her not spreading it around.

The ribbon was recycled from years gon by and once again saved.

The ribbon was recycled from years gon by and once again saved.

There is a saying; “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” I think it’s on our family crest. Once again, I’m behind getting done the things I wanted to make for friends and family. Selling a house during the Christmas holiday was a blessing and a welcome accomplishment on so many levels but took a great deal of my time and energy. I wish I could extend my gift giving into February. Maybe I will.

I finally finished this casserole cozy for my sister as her Christmas gift. She picked out the material and pattern just after I became ill. Thinking that it would be no problem to complete, I was surprised that I could not sew until just recently. It had been so long in the making, my sister forgot all about it and was delighted to see it complete.I did buy the casserole dish and wooden spoon as part of the gift.

Casserole caddy three years to make

Casserole caddy three years to make

Next I did a machine embroidered t-shirt for my daughter with her favorite saying stitched on it. She’s concluded there is no prince charming in her near future so it’s up to her to make her life majestic.

This is how she sees herself.

This is how she sees herself.

I’m still working on one for my son and hope to have it complete before he heads back home. They look so easy but somehow mine always end up a little off-center. What does that say about me? I must share my favorite photo of the season taken by my son. My niece’s boyfriend has this rescued Pit mix I’ve written about before. Her name is Amy and she is the sweetest dog.

Yes Santa, I've been a good girl. Please leave a bone in my stocking.

Yes Santa, I’ve been a good girl. Please leave a bone in my stocking.

I don’t know about you but for some reason I always have this long list of things to get done and never quite get there. So I will go back and make another list of the things I did accomplish. When you sum it all up, the movement was all forward. Isn’t that the direction we should be heading with a few peaks at the past to make sure we are still on the road we wanted?

With the New Year just a day away; looking back I realize that I’ve actually come a long way in a year. I have finally become well enough to drive a tiny bit and begun sewing a little. I have achieved all my financial goals I set for this year. Next year, I hope to achieve my health goals. Yes, there is a weight loss in the plan. There is a weight loss plan every year. Obviously, almost 3 years of tipping over every time I move has led to a very inactive lifestyle. That gave me time for the writing I love so much. This time I’m looking for a plan that is kinder and gentler. Three years ago I lost 50 pounds on a bet. Most of it is back. I plan on getting well this year. There are no resolutions here; just a day by day plan to make each one as good as possible. Bet you have some great plans for this year that might not have been. I’d love to hear about them. Maybe we can achieve them together.

Happy New Year Everyone!

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In search of a new beginning

I have accomplished a lot in the last year. Some days it didn’t look like anything had changed. But everything has changed. I’m not completely well yet but I fully expect this New Year to bring that about. In the last year I have gone through a very difficult though necessary divorce. My daughter and I held my precious fuzzy companion of 11 years as her pain and her life left her. I moved in with my daughter and then we both moved in with my son. That’s giving us both the opportunity to readjust our lives. I’m waiting for my house to sell so I can buy another in an area more suitable for my life
.
I loved a lot of things about my house and the area it’s in. I especially loved all my friends that had to be left behind. They were friends like I’ve had nowhere else in the world. But I needed something different and being unable to drive has shown me that I need a different kind of community. Letters and phone calls aren’t the same as hugs and lunch.

Financially, it’s been a tough year for most of us but I’ve seen it as an opportunity to see what’s really important. I’ve survived a year and a half with all my STUFF in storage. Every year I say I’m going to get my health, wealth and weight under control. Every single year!! I’m still up to my cheeks in alligators financially and 40 pounds heavier physically. How does that happen? Good intentions followed by a lot of maybe later would be a good place to look.

The New Year brings up a lot of hope and trepidation. The predictions are ominous. Carolyn Myss says we are going from the Fossil age to the Energy age. I read everything she writes. We all know things are changing and many of us are trying to prepare for those changes. Many of us can’t handle change. You can’t grow without it so you get to choose to flow with it or fight it. I’m still for rowing my boat downstream; following the current and try to avoid the rocks but enjoying the ride. It’s an exciting trip if you want to look at it that way. My illness was a way to let me see I’d hit a big rock and it was time to get back in the smoother part of the river.

This ride through life can be tedious, exhausting, frightening, and yet it can be fun and joyful. But it’s definitely too hard if you do it alone. So I found books. Lots of them and they all have a tiny gift. I get daily motivational tips from Daily Om, Neale Donald Walsch, Nightingale Conant. I have wonderful friends and family members send great tidbits or post wonderful banners with sayings on their Facebook page to uplift me. They are my life preserver. I have a friend that is so upbeat in the most adverse of conditions that it feels like I’ve just been showered with a rainbow when I talk to her.

Then there are others who do nothing but complain about how hard life is and when you throw them a life preserver, they throw it back at you and keep on complaining. After an encounter like that, I’m looking for another life preserver for myself. I felt the same cranky way the first time someone offered me Byron Katie’s book “Loving What Is”. I tossed (threw) that one many times before finally realizing she had something I needed. I don’t have the answers but I know where to start looking for them. I read some of Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hanson’s book “Mastering the Law of Attraction” or “Going Bonkers” magazine. I download those to my Kindle so I always have something uplifting with me everywhere. I have a Kindle, a Kindle app on my phone, on my laptop and Kindle in the Cloud. So I have always got at least 4 books going at once. There are plenty of hardcover books next to and in my bed. With the dog gone, I needed something to take up that space. I really miss that dog.

This New Year will be like the rest in many ways. Full of lumps and bumps, celebrations and quiet moments. I hope mostly to grow this year. To be a lot better at anything and a little bit better at everything. Letting people I know that I care about them instead of keeping it to myself will be at the top of my list. I ASS U ME they know. This illness along with aging has left some large gaps between thinking and doing. I’ll do better next year is my motto. I’ll give it my all. I wish for you all a better New Year in every way.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene